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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
4th December 2015


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

Burbidge shows that the difference really is in the detail with landmark Langton

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Award-winning kitchen manufacturer, Burbidge, is continuing to innovate and inspire with the launch of Langton; a truly luxurious new kitchen range designed to take the quintessential English shaker style into a new era of modernity.

New MGS Black Steel 3-hole basin mixer available from Grange Design

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Go against the grain with the new MGS Black Steel 3-hole basin mixer exclusively available from specialist distributor Grange Design! Grange believes that the new MB282 in matt black steel is a bathroom design first, being the only black tap collection to be designed and made from stainless steel.

Add some colour with multi-coloured grab rails

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Specialist manufacturer of bathroom products for the inclusive sector, Barwood Products, stocks a wide range of grab rails in popular, standard colours and sizes to satisfy quick delivery requirements.

Schmidt shows how a relaxed country casual style suits both modern and period homes

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When it comes to buying a new kitchen, it's just as easy for people to fall in love with a modern handless slab door as it is to hanker after a Shaker-style scheme.

Liebherr revolutionises refrigeration design with BluPerformance

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Unveiled at IFA 2015 and now to be launched into the UK market for Spring 2016, Liebherr has announced its most significant recent development in its refrigeration appliances with the introduction of its BluPerformance Premium models, which offer energy ratings of A+++, and even better A+++/-20% - thanks to a complete rethinking of the appliance's design and technology...

Fixol Universal Drawer Kit available exclusively from LDL

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LDL is adding another exclusive product to its portfolio - the Universal Drawer Kit from Fixol, a quick and easy solution for sink units in particular to avoid plumbing kits.

Arcelik Group gains AA sustainability rating

Arcelik Group, one of the leading players in the global home appliances industry and parent company of Beko, has been awarded an AA rating in the MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) Global Sustainability Index Series. This latest accolade reinforces the company's, 'Respects the Globe, Respected Globally' vision which focuses on delivering sustainable efficiency and excellence throughout all its business processes.

Bathing in design award glory

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When it comes to cork, few are as ingenious as Granorte and the manufacturer is continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible with this incredibly versatile and sustainable material.

HiB marks a new era of super stylish storage with Xenon

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HiB is continuing to add to its ever-expanding product portfolio with the launch of a brand new LED bathroom cabinet collection, Xenon.

Signalling the next generation of sophisticated bathroom storage, Xenon comprises a sleek double-sided mirrored cabinet finished off with a luxury LED lighting trim. The result is an uber modern feel, guaranteed to make a boldly contemporary style statement in even the simplest of bathroom designs.

Insinkerator heats things up with the new Anthracite 3N1 steaming hot water tap

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InSinkErator, a major player in the steaming hot water tap market, has unveiled a stylish new finish to add to its popular range of 3N1 kitchen taps with filtered steaming hot, hot and cold water.

Welcome to the


I’d had no idea that this week is ‘National Empty Homes Week 2015’ - which is a shame, as this industry is one that will in most cases be needed to bring empty homes back to a habitable standard and I daresay that you may have been involved in terms of supplying furniture, fixtures, fittings and appliances, or possibly the design expertise or labour to bring projects to completion. If you are or have been involved, I’d love to hear from you.

This September, ‘Empty Homes’ launched its report ‘Empty Homes in England’ with its latest analysis based on Government data which shows over 200,000 long-term vacant dwellings (that is homes unoccupied for over six months) in England and over 600,000 total empty homes. This waste of potential housing is despite the last Government introducing, in 2011, dedicated empty homes programmes to support housing providers and community organisations to create affordable homes from empty properties.

These programmes enabled housing providers and community organisations to buy or lease long-term empty properties and renovate and repair them so that they could be brought back into use as affordable housing.

Apparently by the end of March 2015, this funding enabled local groups to create almost 6,000 new homes from empty property – providing apprenticeship and training opportunities as well as more homes and better neighbourhoods for local people.

The programmes ended in March and Empty Homes is asking the new Government to invest in bringing empty homes back into use through new dedicated funding streams. It is also calling on it to further reduce the rate of VAT charged on works needed to bring empty homes up to habitable standards. This is currently charged at 5% for homes that have been empty for two years or more.

Bearing in mind the housing crisis we’re now experiencing, with cash-strapped councils facing escalating costs to place growing numbers of homeless families in hotels and bed & breakfast facilities, one would think that with the huge stock of empty properties available, it would make sense for the Government to reduce VAT more than it has, wouldn’t it?

If properties are empty because refurbishment costs are prohibitive, lowering VAT – even just for local authority and charity developers, will help solve the housing crisis and will eventually boost the economy.

Well it makes sense to me, anyway!



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Amica acquires 100% of CDA Group

* AMICA-HO-Poland.jpgRenowned Polish white goods manufacturer Amica Wronki S.A, has acquired 100% of the shares in the Nottinghamshire-based CDA Group. As the largest acquisition in Amica's 70-year history, the purchase - valued at £24.3 million - significantly strengthens the company's position in Western Europe.

European Water Label does it again!

* 2015-winner.jpgThe European Water Label has won its 5th award in as many years and, needless to say, its supporters and partners across Europe are delighted! Against strong competition from the likes of Essex & Suffolk Water, Royal Haskoning DHV and Illman Young Architects, the European Water Label took the prized SWIG Award at a breakfast ceremony in London last week.

SWIG - the Sustainable Water Industry Group - was conceived in 2008 by a group that came together with the idea of applying some 'whole system thinking' to sustainable water management. Participants include manufacturers, installers, professionals, consultants, designers, academics and others from across the industry.

Remote flushing technology can be positioned freely in the bathroom

* Geberit-flush.jpgGiven the chance, over half of UK householders would locate the flush away from the traditional area behind the toilet, according to latest research by Geberit. Responding to this demand, new Geberit remote flush buttons offer a flexible, practical and simple to fit solution to the siting of flush buttons for wall-hung installation.

The survey revealed that 30% of homeowners would prefer to site the flush to the left or right of the WC, rather than directly behind it, with many people even keen on the idea of siting it by the bathroom door, ready for flushing on their way out.

An exciting new launch is on its way from Abode

* Somethinghot.jpgAn on-line teaser e-campaign is being sent to all Abode customers and distributor partners right now ... a countdown to something new and exciting!

"It's hot". "It's filtered". "Something hot coming soon". These are just some of the animated messages written on a steamy background giving a day-to-day, minute-by-minute and second-by-second countdown of when this exciting new product will be launched - on January 4th.

Steel windows and doors helped to create a chic, industrial feel in the Johnson's home

* SWA-Victoria-Road.jpgAs part of a major refurbishment of a semi-derelict four-bedroom home and adjoining coach house, Adam and Sarah Johnson saw the opportunity to add an 83sq.m rear extension that includes a kitchen and open plan living area. To help create the industrial look they wanted they chose steel windows and doors from Steel Window Association Member, Monk Metal Windows.

When the Johnsons, who have two children, bought the 150-year-old property in Harborne - a suburb of Birmingham, they were keen to develop some of the design ideas that they had gained developing The Plough at Harborne, the pub that they also own in the village. One of the trends they had noticed in bars and restaurants, particularly in London, was the use of steel windows and doors.

Third of construction firms are turned off by taking on apprentices, warns FMB

* FMB-kitchen-fitting.jpgA third of small construction firms are being put off from taking on apprentices because of the bureaucracy involved, according to a new research report 'Defusing the skills time bomb' published this week by the Federation of Master Builders.

"The construction industry is in the midst of a skills crisis which can only be solved if more employers take on apprentices," says Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB.

LDL now stocking new Oeko Universal system from Peka

* LDL-OEKO-waste.jpgLDL Components is now stocking the new Oeko Universal range of built-in waste solutions from Swiss manufacturer Peka.

Designed to simplify waste sorting, the Oeko range comprises high quality plastic bins in 40, 17, 6 and 1.2 litre capacities and in a number of different combinations. The fitted frame and sophisticated anthracite colour gives the system a neat and attractive appearance and ensures that waste falls directly into the bag and not elsewhere.

Practical space-spacing cooker, boasts Italian design flair

* Smeg-Vic.jpgItalian appliance brand Smeg has launched the latest addition to its award-winning Victoria collection - the TR62.

In keeping with the traditional style and classic design ethos of the collection, the 60cm cooker offers customers a practical space-saving option.

Aqata announces new regional sales appointment for the South East

* Aqata_Keith-Saunders.jpgWith immediate effect, Aqata, the UK premium shower specialist, has appointed Keith Saunders to the position of regional sales manager for the South East.

Keith joins the company as the latest member of a dedicated sales force who share responsibility for providing retail customers across the country with excellent levels of service and promoting sales of Aqata's innovative range of luxury shower enclosures, showers and shower trays.

Uform teams up with kitchen retailer for Sierra Leone fundraiser

* Uform-Oaks.jpgUform has recently supported its UK retailer Williams Inspirations in its campaign to raise much needed funds for a Sierra Leone-based children's charity, 'The Oaks' with a kitchen prize from the Kitchen Stori brand.

To support the launch of its new showroom in Ellesmere Port, Williams Inspirations' embarked on a fundraising initiative to assist with funds for the 'family and friends' charity, which helps to provide education to underprivileged youngsters in the West of Africa.

'A Moth for Amy': Hull celebrates local hero Amy Johnson with help of Ideal Standard

* Gavin_Moth.jpgAmy Johnson, born in Hull in 1903, was the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia and is famous for setting numerous long-distance flying records during the 1930s.

Now Amy is set to be honoured with a new mass engagement public art project, 'A Moth for Amy' as part of plans to mark the 75th anniversary of her tragic death in 2016 - and part of the project involves expertise from Ideal Standard's designers.

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

A positive statement but still not enough support for KBB businesses, says KBSA

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has welcomed the emphasis on growth and investment in the chancellor's Spending Review and Autumn Statement but believes that more could still be done to support small businesses in the KBB sector.

Holloways of Ludlow wins 'Ultimate Kitchen Design of the Year' award

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Holloways of Ludlow tells us it is delighted that its designer, Martin Smith has won the award for the 'Ultimate Kitchen Design of the Year' at the prestigious 2015 Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards.

Whirlpool awarded consumer Superbrands status

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Whirlpool has been awarded the honour of consumer Superbrands status for 2016, confirming its position as one of Britain's most iconic household names.


Uform strengthens senior management team with two new recruits

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Kitchen door and component supplier Uform has announced the appointment of two new senior managers in the areas of operations and procurement.

BAL strengthens unique support network

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Tiling solutions specialist BAL has appointed Rushden-based Alan Collins as its product support technician (PST) for East Anglia, strengthening its nationwide technical support and training capability. The PST concept is thought to be unique to BAL, which has placed strong emphasis on support throughout its history.

British Ceramic Tile evolves its marketing team

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British Ceramic Tile has announced three new internal promotions within its marketing team, including two senior positions, following a restructure of its marketing team to reflect the importance of the brand and expansion of its product portfolio in key markets.

Steven Jaques joins board of directors at Utopia

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Utopia Furniture Group Ltd promoted Steven Jaques to the position of sales director with immediate effect.

Ian Hall, joint managing director, comments: "Steve has in effect been fulfilling this role at Utopia since 2013 and we are now very pleased to recognise this formally.

Uform announces appointment of new managing director

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Uform has announced the appointment of Simon Oliphant as its new managing director. Simon will be responsible for providing leadership of the company's fast growing operations and delivery of the company's five-year strategic plan and will report to the newly appointed chairman Eamon Donnelly.

New appointment at KBBG to support KBBG independent kitchen specialists

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The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG), part of the Der Kreis, dedicated to supporting independent kitchen specialists, has appointed Louisa Cole to the newly created position of office support executive.


1500 retailers interviewed to identify range enhancements

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Over 1500 retail contacts have been individually quizzed about how Amica might enhance the diverse built-in cooking line-up from the brand.

It's panto time at Utopia!

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Oh, yes, it is! Once again, Utopia is preparing to launch its popular pre-Christmas promotion and this year it will have a fabulous pantomime-based theme.


Caple's new sinks and taps brochure now available

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Caple's new sinks and taps brochure is packed full of inspirational ideas. Whether for a contemporary or traditional kitchen, there are sinks and taps to suit all tastes and budgets.

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